I joined the RSA in August 2016, when the RSA office was still based in Seaford, East Sussex, UK. I helped pack boxes when we moved into the Sussex Innovation Centre and now, five years later I am saying goodbye whilst working from home.
Klara (right) and Daniela (left) in Brussels (2016)
I feel lucky to have been part of the RSA during the tumultuous months of the pandemic. I am proud to be part of a team that faced the challenge of global lockdown face on. We tried to make our transition from globally situated face to face events to a range of online, virtual events. During my time I have also seen the beginning of a real push in Europe especially towards open access publishing and seen how the Association has responded through advocacy seeking the best outcomes for the learned society sector and through careful curation of its five journals. While here I also saw the BREXIT vote and the RSA becoming the founder member of RSA Europe as its response. In spite of all this change I still somehow managed to finish my Master`s studies on European integration. So, I am happy to report that these have not been boring times!
My fingers have been in many pies whilst working on my job portfolio – I have been involved in marketing and communication, journals and editorial work, events, and webinars; but mainly my remit was with the RSA’s grants and awards. Through this I have been honoured to be in regular touch with many of our members.
A few highlights from my work over the years:
- I have had the chance to be involved with over 50 University & College/ Master Class sessions at the #EURegionsWeek In Brussels
- I have worked on two editions of the RSA Europe Summer College (and managed to meet some of you in lovely Sardinia too)
- Since moving to remote award ceremonies in 2020, I have met awardees in 38 virtual ceremonies (and since 2016 I have announced 103 awards)
- Since 2016, I have processed around 1100 grant applications, and I have been honoured to work with grant holders on more than 50 projects
- I have been in touch with more than 20 Research Committee Members over the years
- I helped publish 6 books in the Policy Impact book series
- The highlight events of the last 5 years that I took part in were the Latin America conference in superb Sao Paolo, our Winter conferences in lively London, an annual conference in lovely Lugano and our biggest online (and outstanding) event #RinR21
This has been my first “real” full-time job, and it has been a great opportunity to develop my skills in a very supportive environment. l have learned how to communicate, plan my work and deadlines and work as part of very international team. I will take all that I have learned with me in my career and will look back at my time here as a valuable and enjoyable period of my professional life.
Let me finish, by saying thank you to our supportive Board, Research and Policy Committees for their ongoing help and guidance! I have learned a great deal during my time here and have enjoyed collaborating with you all. It was wonderful collaborating with the editorial boards of our five journals and two book series, and with our current and previous grant holders, events’ participants and speakers.
And finally, I wish to say big ĎAKUJEM to my amazing colleagues Sally, Daniela, Judy, Lesa, Katharina, Alex, Suede (and Wanda) for their incredible encouragement and the help they provided every day! Don’t worry, I will stay in touch. 😊
Klára Sobeková, outgoing Grants and Knowledge Exchange Officer, RSA. Her academic background is in European studies and European integration with a specialisation in Central and Eastern Europe. In previous roles, she worked in Brussels for the European Committee of the Regions and the representation of Prešov region. In addition, she has also worked at the EU-office of Chemnitz in Germany. Her job portfolio at the RSA includes the administration of the book series and the RSA’s grant schemes and awards. She is also the event organiser for the RSA Europe Summer School and European Week of Regions and Cities University sessions and Master Class.
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